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TAKING THINGS OUT
You know, I've not even had that much problem with my gall bladder, but after a third episode, and getting it checked, and hearing that it was "nearly full of stones", I thought it was better to be preemptive about having it removed, rather than wait until I ended up with major issues. Considering that my brother, my mother AND her father all had gall bladder attacks, it was probably just a matter of time.

My surgery was scheduled for Wednesday morning and I'd had 6 weeks to prepare, and by prepare, I mostly mean losing weight. I managed to get down 7.5 kilos, which I was pretty darned proud of, considering that time period included a 4-day trip to Stockholm, Mårtens Gås and Thanksgiving. I worked really damn hard at it, and I plan to continue with my new habits even now, after the fact. All told, since my diabetes diagnosis 2 years ago, I've managed to lose 15.5 kilos (TWICE, but not managed to stay there, sigh) to date. I still have a long way to go to be considered at a healthy weight, but at least I feel I'm a good bit further along the right road, both mentally, emotionally and motivationally.

Anders took the day off and drove me to the Gastro Center in Lund, where the surgery was taking place. It's a laproscopy procedure, which doesn't require an overnight stay, unless there are complications. I had to be there at 8:15 and I couldn't have anything but water basically from midnight the night before. That wasn't as easy as you might think, since I have a terrible gag reflex that manifests worst in the mornings...it's one of the reasons I always keep Tictacs to hand, but I managed with a bottle of crushed ice.

We arrived before 8, and sat in the waiting room for quite awhile, and then were called in by the anesthesiologist, who proceeded to talk up a storm...that I could barely understand a word of. AUGH! What was worse, he kept addressing himself to ANDERS and not to me, and finally I had to stop him by waving my hands (literally!) in front of his face and saying (in my perfectly good Swedish), "I'm sorry, but I'm getting about half of what you are saying...can you please take this in English?!" It turned out he was DANISH, and all those episodes of Bron I have watched (twice!) didn't help a damn bit. After that, things went much smoother, and quite quickly. He gave me painkillers and cortisone to take beforehand and walked me through what to expect, and then discombobulated me again by telling me that the anesthetic that they use was the "same as killed Michael Jackson", though I shouldn't be worried because he didn't have a doctor overseeing him at the time, etc., and wasn't the doctor convicted? I gave him a sort of half-glazed answer, thinking that that info was not really anything I needed to know right before surgery! :D

Being put under is weird. I met with the surgeon and he marked up my stomach and told me how the surgery would proceed (4 holes, 1 for the camera and gas to expand my abdomen so he could see, and 3 for the instruments) and how long it would take, and then said that Anders could go on home or shopping or to work and wait for my call after recovery...should be about 11 am or so. Bye, honey!

I got changed and they walked me into the operating room, all the nurses joking about the Danish doctor having to speak English despite my Swedish being so good, and I laid down on the table, and the nurse next to me told me her name and to think about something "nice to take with me" as she placed the mask over my face. And then I woke up. SO WEIRD.

Unfortunately, I reacted very badly to the anesthetics and had a bad time of it for several hours with severe dizziness and nausea. I couldn't relax or rest properly since it was bright and loud and people kept coming in and talking to me. The surgeon came at some point and said he was surprised I was so ill, since the surgery had gone fine and the guy before me was gone after an hour, and did I want to see my gallstones? NO, I managed to say, EW and laid my head back down. They moved me to a private room and I was finally feeling better enough by 1 pm to call Anders to come get me. After he got there, however, I was still too dizzy and had to lay down again for another hour and a half. By then I was determined to get home, where I could actually rest, so I managed to prove I could get to the bathroom and get dressed and we left. Being in the car, even for the short way home, made the nausea even worse though, and I had some rough moments after I arrived, before finally getting settled in bed, and conking out thoroughly for about 4 hours.

My brother had warned me that I'd probably feel gassy and bloated from the procedure, but I haven't had any issues with that at all, and the pain from the incisions is surprisingly minimal. It didn't hurt much at all the first day, though the second day I found I was much more sore. Today, the third day, I feel nearly back to normal. I'm eating very small meals and taking it very easy and have been very grateful for all the good wishes and conversations I have had with my friends and family. My colleagues, who were at our company Christmas party last night without me, even sent me a greeting from the julbord, which almost made me cry.

I haven't been a complete slug, though...I've been zooming through books, finishing the third in as many days today. I got the rest of the Christmas cards all done, sealed and today I went to the grocery store, picked up a package, and mailed them. I got most of the rest of my gift shopping done online (it wasn't that much, but still), and I even managed to WORK a couple of hours...just easy stuff, but enough to make me feel better, since I was fretting a bit about being out for 3 days and falling behind. In between, I've been napping, resting, lying flat in bed, and relaxing. I was really hoping to have Anders and Karin go get the Christmas tree today, but Karin worked (at a new job! at a cafe in Malmö, which turns out to be owned & operated by Björn Ranelid's daughter, of all people) all day today and Anders was switching all the tires on the cars, so maybe tomorrow.

I did bring home the little pill bottle of gallstones that the doctor gave me, but honestly, looking at them made me gag, and after Anders and Karin took a look, I threw them away. There weren't as many as I thought there would be...only 10 or so, but they were as big as Pandora beads! Now I'm going to lie down again, and start a new book. Happy weekend!
 sore
mood: sore
music: Nerina Pallot—Put Your Hands Up


Comments

Go you with the weight loss. What a pita it is that weight is so much fun to gain, but so much hard work to lose. That loss though ought to really help the diabetes.

"I could barely understand a word" Ha, ha I was going to say that's always how I feel when I hear skånska! But it was Danish accented, so even more porrige in the mouth than usual. I don't know how you put up with it, as every time I hear it I want to scream. I need subtitles on SVT because I have to turn off the sound when someone like David Batra comes on.

People react in different ways to anaesthetic and the surgeon should already know that - sheesh. I'm sorry it was tough going at first, but I agree that there's no place like home as far as recovery is concerned. Peace, quiet and surrounded by your own things.

"I haven't been a complete slug" Well, it wouldn't be you if you'd been a complete slug. Then we all would have been super worried.

Good luck getting the tree up and to outsourcing the decorating to the possibly reluctant teen.

Yep, I have been officially diabetes-free for over a year thanks to the weight loss (despite gaining some back) and diet changes.

And I struggle with really broad skånska, too. And people from Norrland as well. In fact, I thought at first that was the problem! Danish didn’t even occur to me! 😂

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I have been thinking about you all week! I am glad that your surgery was a complete success! I totally understand coming off the sleepy drugs though. Ugh. Not fun. It sounds like you are already close to being back to normal. Thanks goodness! xo

RE: From Megsie

Getting there, though I totally overdid it today :(

I'm glad this is behind you, and sorry your wake up experience was so rough. Yeah, the artificial "sleep" is so unlike real sleep...your sense of time is completely distorted, unlike real sleep, where, when you wake up in the morning, you do have a sense that time has passed, even though you weren't there to realize it.

The remark about MJ's drug of choice? Funny, but insensitive!

Yipe! Glad to hear you’re feeling better so rapidly after the surgery, laparoscopic or not! Of course, now I’m wondering at why for the ever-loving f#ck would a Damnish doctor have gone across Broen. O.o

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